Hossein-Ali Montazeri's letter to Ayatollah Khomeini about the execution of 13-year-old girls in Iran, 27 September 1981

Secret letter by Khomeini’s deputy acknowledges execution of 13-year-old girls in Iran

On 27 September 2016, a state-run website published the text and scan of a letter written exactly 35 years to the day by Iran’s former deputy supreme leader to the Ayatollah Khomeini, pointing out the Iranian judiciary was executing girls as young as 13 simply for supporting the Iranian Resistance and despite the fact that many had not even taken up arms or attending public demonstrations.

The disclosure of the shocking confidential document after three decades of crimes committed by the Iranian regime’s Judiciary, including execution of unarmed thirteen-year-old girls upon the verdicts of Sharia judges, has triggered further calls for prosecution of the perpetrators of such execution sentences.

The letter was written by Hossein-Ali Montazeri to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini on 27 September 1981.

The following is a translation of the letter. The original Farsi version is available for download below:

“Letter to Ayatollah Khomeini about the poor performance of the Supreme Judicial Council and the establishment of denominationalism in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards”

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

To the Grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini,

After greetings, although I have not been able to visit Your Excellency for some time, and I did not want to disturb your valuable time to talk about the country’s current affairs as there is naturally someone in charge of each affair, but out of a sense of religious duty I found it necessary to briefly draw Your Excellency’s attention to the current affairs of the country’s most important institutions which are the guarantor for the survival of the revolution and country.

1) The weakness of the Supreme Court and consequently the revolutionary courts is to the extent that even honest and committed people who are in their framework and context say that the current situation in Evin Prison in Tehran, and many prisons in other cities, is quite disturbing and horrible, whereby there are executions, indiscriminate and possibly without verdicts by Sharia Judges and without their knowledge and sometimes despite their opposition, and discrepancy between the courts and sentences as well as the impact of atmosphere and feelings and anger in issuing sentences and even execution of 13 or 14-year-old girls, who have not taken up arms nor participated in protests, just because of their sharp tongues. Pressures, reprimands and severe tortures in prisons are on the rise.

The number of prisoners is to the extent that even in solitary confinement five prisoners have to stay in a cell in an inhumane condition and they are typically not given an opportunity to pray; and in the words of one of the religious judges, chaos and arbitrary decisions by the interrogators is very worrying.

Recent executions usually involve third and fourth tier elements and supporters (of the Mojahedin) and the main elements are working to make heroes of the executed ones to trap other people and send them to the field.

If the main and effective elements were executed and explanatory (didactic) work was done on those who were deceived, similar to what was done with the group of Forqan, there would have been some hope that these groups and their thoughts would be uprooted, but with increasing numbers of the executed people, it is possible that the current of terror would be weakened in the short term, but they would eventually emerge with a more complex form and experiences, and the problems would persist.

There are murmurs even among the faithful and religious families and it is not clear that these will not spread, because the shedding of blood naturally stimulates emotions and feelings, and finally, if you were informed about what is happening in prisons, you certainly would not consent to them.

Of course these matters are written to Your Excellency by someone who opposed these groups from the beginning and was also hurt by them; someone who tries to judge by reason, not under the influence of spontaneous emotions.

2) The Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) has almost turned into a leverage for groups and individuals in their dealings, purging, appointments and dismissals, and piety and Islam and the leader’s lines are less considered. And perhaps many times competent and helpful persons are purged instead of suspicious individuals and their salaries are cut off. It is predicted that if the situation regarding the IRGC continues in this way, this revolutionary entity will collapse in the near future or become a useless security organ.

It is necessary to use every possible means to save the IRGC from factional games and to represent Your Excellency actively and effectively.

Peace be upon you and may God look after you.

27 September 1981, Hossein-Ali Montazeri